To retire or not retire?
That seems to be the question veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett is contemplating as the postseason winds down. After helping lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to their first winning season and playoff berth since 1992, is he ready to hang it up?
Burnett doesn’t seem to want to play anywhere but the Steel City, and the team has stated that they want him back. But could manager Clint Hurdle’s decision to start Gerrit Cole over Burnett in Game Five of the NLDS prompt his departure from Major League Baseball?
A recent radio interview with Hurdle on 93.7 The Fan has left many questioning whether or not Burnett will return to Pittsburgh, despite the historic season. When asked “Do you have any worries at all that your decision may, in sense, drive him away from the organization?” Hurdle replied as follows:
I don’t have any worries. If it does, if it does… it did. My responsibilities are to make the best decisions for the team that day. A.J. has added so much value in so many different places. I can understand…the personal feelings. I was a player a long, long time ago. I give players time to reflect. Time to think. We have had one conversation, short one, in St. Louis. The biggest question, one we did kick around is he didn’t have a feeling whether he was coming back or not anyway. He will need time to think where he was with his career. That will need to be answered first.